Ballantrae Smugglers Festival 


The Ballantrae Smugglers’ events for 2017 kicked off on Friday 9 June, with “Music, Poetry and Smuggling Stories” an event for the whole family in a marquee at Ballantrae harbour. The production included the children from Ballantrae Primary School reading stories and poems from the book they published last year, and a performance of “Smuggler”, a song about smuggling in the local area. They were joined by “Celtic Voices” and Davie Hunter. The usual Smugglers’ Festival characters, The Minister and Doctor, and two new characters – the Innkeeper and The Narrator – enacted an incident which may or may not have been part of Ballantrae’s colourful smuggling history!

The Minister, who has been smuggling for many years had a change of heart, concluded that smuggling is a sin, and burned the contraband. Unfortunately the proceeds from the contraband were for the Doctor’s retirement. Forming a human chain, and using buckets, the children tried to help the Doctor put out the fire but without success.  This upset the doctor who then shot the Minister!  What a great night and a great start to this year’s Smugglers’ events.

At the Festival of Food and Drink on Sunday 11 June the “Smugglers’ Contraband Store” attracted a lot of attention, particularly since the smugglers were giving away free samples of the fine wines recently landed as part of the consignment of contraband, and using a variation of a “treasure hunt”, visitors were encouraged to guess where the contraband would be hidden.

“Smuggler Scarecrows” will once again appear across the village in mid August. On Saturday 26 August the King’s Arms Hotel in Ballantrae is hosting another “Smugglers’ Supper” at 7pm for 7.30pm. This is an adults only event. Tickets price £13 (including entertainment by Davie Hunter and friends) are available from the hotel 01465 831202.

On Sunday 27 August “The Ballantrae Smugglers’ Chase” involving skiff racing, will take place in Ballantrae Bay starting at 2pm with the tall ship La Malouine overseeing the action.

On Saturday 23 September a “Smugglers’ Road Trip” (coach trip with commentary) will work its way up the coast from Ballantrae, to the heads of Ayr and Barrhill, finishing with the launch of a new book “The Carrick Smugglers”. Watch local press, noticeboards, Facebook “Information Ballantrae” and for more information including details of how to take part.

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